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Barry L. Popkin Senior Honors Thesis Research Award

Barry L. Popkin

Barry Popkin came to UW-Madison from Superior, Wis., and earned his B.S. in 1967 and his M.S. in 1969. He is currently the W.R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he teaches about and conducts research, outreach, and public service at the interface of economics, public health, and nutrition.

An Honors student while at UW-Madison, Popkin completed his senior honors thesis on the economics of nutrition. That thesis experience, combined with studying abroad in India in 1965-66, helped shaped his career and the rest of his life.

In recognition of his transformative experience, Popkin has established an endowment to provide annual funding for an undergraduate honors student majoring in economics or another social science to conduct original research in a lower-middle income country outside of Europe and to lay a foundation for a career in global work.

The Barry L. Popkin Senior Honors Thesis Research Award

The Barry L. Popkin Senior Honors Thesis Research Award was endowed in 2015 by Professor Barry L. Popkin. This annual award provides one currently enrolled L&S Honors student with up to $3,500 to support economics or other social science senior thesis research on a lower-middle income country outside of Europe.

Review of applications and selection of the Barry L. Popkin Senior Honors Thesis recipient will be conducted by the L&S Honors Program Faculty Honors Committee.

Who is eligible to apply?

You can apply for the Barry L. Popkin Senior Honors Thesis Research Award if you meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled L&S Honors Student (HM or Comprehensive Honors) who plans on graduating with the Honors in the Major or Comprehensive Honors degree in May of 2017 or earlier
  • Minimum 3.3 cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Enrollment in a minimum of three (3) credits of Senior Honor Thesis Directed Study (681 or 682) in their major department
  • Proposed research falls within the realm of economics or another social science in a lower-middle income country outside of Europe.

Please note that students may not receive a Popkin Research Award if their thesis has been or will be supported by another university undergraduate research grant (e.g., the Hilldale, the Hughes, or by the L&S Honors Program Summer Senior Thesis Grant.) Students who apply to the Summer Senior Honors Thesis Award will automatically be considered for the Barry L. Popkin Award.

How are recipients chosen?

Barry L. Popkin grant recipients are selected by members of the L&S Faculty Honors Committee. They will evaluate your application based on the following:

  • Strength of academic record
  • Progress toward the completion of the Honors in the Major OR Comprehensive Honors degree(s)
  • Excellence of the proposal and of the senior thesis research project to be funded
  • Clearly defined and justifiable budget

What is the application process?

The following materials must be submitted online through scholarships.wisc.edu:

  • Completion and submission of the L&S Honors Program Summer Senior Thesis Award application through scholarships.wisc.edu (Scholarship application will be available spring semester). The scholarship system should match students to the scholarship, but every year some eligible students do not match correctly. Contact Matt Kohlstedt to be manually added to the scholarship application if you think you are eligible.
  • Submission of one (1) letter of recommendation from your Honors Senior Thesis Advisor in support of your application. You will be prompted in the application to fill out your advisor's contact information, and a link will automatically be sent to him/her to complete the recommendation through the scholarships.wisc.edu system. The deadline for the letter of recommendation is the same as the application deadline, so please notify your advisor as soon as possible that you will be requesting a letter of recommendation.
  • Your UW-Madison student transcript (submitted automatically through scholarships.wisc.edu)

When is the application due?

The application deadline will be set during spring semester.

Award status notifications will be sent to applicants within three to four weeks of the application deadline.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Honors Program office at 608-262-2984 or honors@honors.ls.wisc.edu